Acclaimed Irish author Sally Rooney has said the biggest challenge of adapting Normal People for TV was to find a way to portray her characters' inner lives on screen. 

The award-winning novel follows the relationship between Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) from the end of their school days in a small town in the west of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College.

RTÉ has announced that it will begin airing the 12-part series, which was produced by Dublin company Element Pictures, from Tuesday, April 28.

Speaking about the challenges of making a TV series, Rooney said: "The biggest challenge of adapting the book was trying to make the inner lives of the characters legible through their outward actions.

"In some ways, Normal People is a novel about the differences between the characters' outer and inner selves, so we had to find new ways to dramatise those differences on screen.

"As with all aspects of the adaptation, my co-writer Alice Birch was enormously helpful in tackling that challenge."

Rooney added that she was always clear that she wanted the series to be set and filmed in Ireland, adding: "I think that was important to all of us from the beginning.

"The book is set in a small fictional town in County Sligo, and in a few specific locations in Dublin, and none of us really felt that those places were generic or interchangeable

"We were committed to getting the environment right and doing justice to the specific setting of the story, and I think that's become an important part of the show."

Normal People is produced by Dublin company Element Pictures for BBC Three and Hulu in association with Screen Ireland. 

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